Wisconsin, along with much of the nation, currently faces a workforce paradox – high unemployment rates, yet manufacturers are limited by their ability to find skilled workers.

Manufacturing Month promotes manufacturing as a viable career in Wisconsin.

Manufacturing in Wisconsin today is a robust and dynamic industry, driving the creation of family-supporting jobs, inspiring innovation, and advancing the state’s economy.

“The reason we took the lead in reinvigorating Manufacturing Month a few years back is because it is critical that students, teachers, parents and the people of Wisconsin understand the value that manufacturing brings to the state,” said Kurt Bauer, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

The average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin is $53,000 per year, more than $10,000 per year higher than the average pay for all Wisconsin private-sector workers. In addition, manufacturing contributes more than $53 billion to Wisconsin’s economic output. Over 16 percent of the state’s workforce is directly employed in manufacturing, outpacing the national average of 9 percent.

“Wisconsin manufacturers are re-shoring jobs and we are up against a demographic challenge and a skills shortage,” Bauer said. “These jobs pay above the average, are family-supporting, and create additional jobs in their communities.  Advanced manufacturing is the heart and soul of the state’s economy. We should take great pride in celebrating it, not only in October, but year ‘round.”

Manufacturing Month highlights the challenging and rewarding careers that manufacturing offers, and to reaffirm the importance of manufacturers to Wisconsin’s economy.

“One of the aspects of Manufacturing Month is to raise the visibility of manufacturing within Wisconsin,” said Buckley Brinkman, executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. “It shows what manufacturing can mean to your community and to your family.”

During October, Wisconsin manufacturers will be encouraged to host visits, tours and other events for students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and other members of the community.

Although manufacturing will be highlighted throughout October in Wisconsin, Oct. 2 has been designated as national Manufacturing Day, sponsored by a number of groups, including the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

A collection of resources is available online for employers, school district, and others to host or take part in open houses or related events. More information can be found at http://www.mfgday.com.

“I think the response in Wisconsin has been incredible,” Brinkman said. “Manufacturing is critical to who we are. “We’ve really done a good job showing off today’s manufacturing environment, which is modern, clean and really pushes the talents of the people who work there.”

Partners in the Wisconsin Manufacturing Month initiative include Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Technical College System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.